Department of Health (DOH) – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) celebrated Malaria Awareness Day with various activities rendered including blood smear test, RDT (Rapid Diagnostic Test) and ICT (Immunochromatographic Test for Filariasis) and deworming to IP communities in Rizal, Palawan to prevent the rising cases in the municipality.
“Malaria must be recognized immediately in order to provide timely care and treatment to a patient and prevent further spread of infection in the community. It is a major health emergency that must be given priority and treated accordingly”, Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo stated during his visit to Sitio Ogis, Barangay Ransang in Rizal, Palawan on May 20, 2016.
“Delay in the diagnosis and treatment of Malaria can cause death in patients”, he added.
From the total 476 residents who have undergone blood smear testing in Sitio Ogis, 44 were tested positive for Malaria. Janairo assured that appropriate anti-Malaria treatment will be provided to them immediately.
During the event, sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets and groceries were given to 250 families including hygiene kits, kiddie T-shirts and RIMO (Rice-Mongo curls and blend) products.
Five Malaria IEC translated to local dialect flipcharts were turned over to BHWs to be used in Malaria classes for proper information and dissemination.
A total of 2,805 cases were recorded from January 1 – April 30, 2016.In Palawan, there are 18 endemic towns and one city with 829, 360 endemic residents.
In 2015, Rizal tops the municipalities with the most number of cases with 1,729 followed by Bataraza with 736 and Brooke’s Point with 689, Quezon – 247, Puerto Princesa City – 241 and Sofronio Española – 232. There were 13 deaths reported.
Among the major causes of the spread of malaria in the province are the insufficient knowledge about the disease, shortage of RDTs, itinerant habits of the IPs and wrong beliefs and customs about the disease and poverty.
“We need to provide our health workers including LGUs the essential tools and support so that they can manage and fully implement the malaria control program and protect vulnerable residents at from the disease. With this logistics in place we can significantly reduce cases and eventually eliminate Malaria in the country”, Janairo concluded.